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Vatican Rejects France's Bid for Gay Ambassador


President Hollande has given up on placing openly-gay Laurent Stefanini as ambassador to the Holy See

Despite progressive moves from Pope Francis, homosexuality is still an issue for the Vatican. Exhibit A: France's bid to name a gay ambassador to the religious city-state has failed, AFP reports.

Faced by opposition from the Vatican, president Francois Hollande decided instead to name Laurent Stefanini, his current head of protocol, as his representative to UNESCO, the United Nations' Paris-based educational, cultural, and scientific body.

For more than a year, Stefanini was hoping to become the first openly-gay diplomat to the Vatican. Hollande proposed him for ambassador in January 2015, but never received approval from the Holy See, a move (or lack thereof) qualified by the French and Italian media as a snub.

French Catholic paper La Croix wrote that the Vatican considered it a "provocation," and some reports argued that ignoring Stefanini's bid was in retaliation for Hollande's government legalizing same-sex marriage, in 2013.

Paris has yet to name a new candidate for the Vatican position.

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